Sharon Barton


Sharon Barton

Finished a 6 month internship with GVI in Tortuguero National Park. Had a holiday in Cuba and now travelling in Nicaragua with Brim.

A sad day for Jalova as Ian, my mentor and all round brilliant person has to leave Costa Rica and return to Scotland. It's definitely going to be (and in fact has been because I am writing this after the event) a very different place at Jalova without him. I learnt a lot from him in quite a short space of time and I will miss his leadership in the weeks to come. In fact listening to Old Crow Medicine Show as I type this which was the song Ian would play on a Friday night when the food order was away and everyone was sat down ready to take their first sup of beer. Ahhh the memories made when on an adventure are the ones that stay forever. With sad hearts we said goodbye to ... read more

Dear Readers, Hot on the heels of my last update, thought I'd give you a flavour of some of the highlights from the first 3 days in March in Jalova (the location in the National Park where Base is located). 1 March: got up earlier than needed so I could spot birds in Base. Binos in hand wandered from the garden area, to the back of the kitchen and then back near the compost bins. Pretty good start to the day as managed to see (and identify no less) a Blue-gray Tanager, Common Tody Flycatcher and spotted the resident Clay Colored Robin (yes I know American spelling of colour but I am following how it's spelt in the bird book). That morning after breakfast there was no survey because Saturdays are the official 'day off' in ... read more
Ready for the Jalova games
Central American Agouti
Second breakfast

Hola Chicas and Chicos, Following a request for more details on what I get up to in the jungle I thought I would draft a blog based on the last few days in February and add some more pictures to. Sunday 23 February: no surveys for me today as on duty. This involved the usual cooking, cleaning, t-towel and bathroom cleaning regime with the added mix that we had planned to cook and serve lunch on the beach (at mile 15) where the rest of the team was busy placing the final mile markers into position. However, as they are so efficient they had finished the task by 10am, so as we were about to work out how we were going to travel with 21 portions of food and plates and cutlery and sauces etc., to ... read more
Tyra in Tree
Two Tyra

Dear All, Hope this finds you well and dandy. So what have I been up to in the last few weeks. A few volunteers left last month and we had a handful of new ones arrive - Kathrine, Benedict and Jessica. They love Ian's porridge but are undecided about getting stuck in the mud on monkey surveys....especially when they don't see any monkeys either. After a few days rest out of the jungle (when I last posted some pictures) we got back into the jungle and the interns (including me) were hit with a list of tasks to complete in addition to carrying out surveys and preparing ourselves to start to lead some surveys to! More of that later. In relation to animals and bird spotting, the new volunteers (and interns) were treated to a trip ... read more
Green Kingfisher
Bare Throated Tiger Heron
Jag Walk

Edited version..... I have just reviewed the blog after publishing and realised some of the photos were hidden at the end because there was not enough text and I wanted to confirm which photos I captured.....and give proper credit to Peter who took and said I could use the Mantled Howler Monkey picture - I took a picture but the face wasn't as clear and Peter's photo captures brilliantly what we all saw. I took the rest of the pictures in this blog - and despite the lack of detail and blurriness I like the face of the Hour Glass frog....he's kind of cute don't you think? Right, hopefully that has covered all the administrative points, I will re-publish now and you can look till your hearts content. As always, let me know if there's any ... read more
A venomous Eyelash palm pitviper
The hour glass frog
Face of the hourglass frog

Hi All, How are you? Sorry I have not been in touch. It seems that the jungle and technology are not the best of friends but I am currently in civilisation of sorts so I am going to use the opportunity to upload some photos and let you know what I have been up to! So, the image below is of Andrew the American Crocodile. He lives at the Estuary/beach where we visit most days to get the boat to start our canal bird surveys. Andrew is huge....he has a couple of friends who have been named after some of the staff at Base. There are occasions where we are walking on the same side of the beach as a respectful distance. We have been told if Andrew decides to 'come after us' to run ... read more

Each day they make us get up slightly earlier than the day before. Apparently this is ease us into the fact we may need to be up at 4/4.30 when proper surveys start at the end of the week. Editor adds: 1 month later, it's now impossible to sleep any later than 6am as the sun is up by then and so is the rest of Base!. Anyhow, where were we - ah yes, the next couple of days are heavily filled with EFR (first aid training). we practise CPR on manikins (the plastic doll things not Manakins the White Collared Manakin bird sort), putting each other into the recovery position (whether we want to be in it or not), bandaging fake wounds, acting as scene managers in mock emergency situations and generally repeating the mantra ... read more
Hanging out with Central American Spider Monkeys
A tough day at the office

Hello there readers, great to know you've come back for another instalment of the adventures of Ms B the Ninja Turtle warrior (the name is a work in progress). Heading back in time (I am also a time lord it seems) it is now day 2 in the jungle. We are treated to a 'late' breakfast at 7.30am. Everyone has a bowl of porridge except me as it's not gluten free so I have a banana and some mixed dried fruit. 8am (having washed up our bowls and used the correct coloured t-towels....seriously, they colour code the towels -green is drying dishes, yellow is hands and blue/black t-towels (or dish cloths as the American contingent refer to them as) for wiping down the tables). Editors Note: this is boring and nothing you need to know but ... read more
Le Playa
Where I rest my eyes and listen to the sea

Hi All, Firstly apologies if any of this repeats what I have sent on email, but I have found a hostel where there is twenty four seven Wi Fi and somewhere I can upload my photos so I thought it was high time I sent you some blog entries. I'll try and tell you about my first month in Costa Rica over a few posts and add some photos. Now, don't forget, if there is any specific questions you want answers to (related to my adventures) let me know and I'll try and answer them around the 9 March (the next time I will definitely be online). I met the GVI team at Gaudy's hostel in San Jose on the morning of 11 January. I had already met one volunteer - Peter who was on the ... read more
Dorm at Gaudys
View of Cano Blanco
Ellouise and me when arrive at canal in Tortuguero

Hola peeps, Sorry there are no photos yet - internet didn´t work last night and this morning I only a few minutes before meeting the GVI Group who are making there way to the National Park. Basic itinerary for today looks like, meet group, take vehicle to Tortuguero Village which is about 50KM from here then 1 hour motor boat ride to the park and the research base where I will be staying for the next 12 weeks until off to Nicaragua for a couple of weeks.... To get you up to date however on my adventures so far, having woken up at 5am yesterday, I had some breakfast (pineapple and banana), then went back to sleep for 2 hours...oops. Peter and I then set out about 10am. It´s not far from the hostel into the ... read more

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